The Codex International Book Fair has been taking place at the Craneway Pavilion in Richmond. The fair runs until February 13, and includes over 175 of the world’s most distinguished book artists and artisans, private presses, and fine art publishers.
Kala Art Institute had asked some of their artists to make artist books for the event. Now making an artist book for someone like myself, who gets covered in ink almost before I have opened the tin, turned out to be quite a challenge and an extremely steep learning curve. Does it really take nine 8 hour days to make a little book no more that 8″ x 10″?
Here is a little video of one of the chaotic creative process, but actually as it turns out I was quite proud of the finished book and despite what I said, will be subjecting myself to making more artists books in the future. It’s a nice change of pace after printing such large works, which can be quite physically exhausting. Here is the finished book:
The book is based on a road trip I did last year to the amazing Neon Boneyard in Las Vegas. The images in the book of the neon signs are made from original drawings, pinhole photography and photopolymer plates. When the page is turned, you can get a glimpse from the rear of the page of the supports and structures that hold these signs together – the reality behind the Illusion. The book’s title page and supports are printed from drypoint plates.
A bit of trivia about the venue for the Codex event, which is located in the Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park. The building was, before WWII, a Ford Motor Plant, which was converted to build tanks and jeeps at the breakout of the war, and was part of the Richmond Kaiser shipyards. Those shipyards produced 747 ships during the war, including the Red Oak Victory ship, which is moored there. It is a great place to visit, with sweeping views of the bay, city, and both Bay and Golden Gate bridges.
I have been printing like a crazy person for the past 9 months in preparation for my show at the Davidson Gallery in Seattle, which opened last Thursday. This is my second show with Davidson, which represents an amazing array of printmakers and is a must-see if you are in the area and interested in printmaking. There is also a painting and sculpture side of the gallery, so it is a great gallery.
Before the opening I was also invited to do a lecture and demo firstly for Seattle Print Arts (SPA) at Print Zero Studios, and then for students at North Seattle Community College. This was organized by Amanda Knowles, an artist whose work I love. Amanda not only gave me a place to stay, and made me feel completely at home, but she also introduced me to some amazing local artists and took me around rainy Seattle for the day. I had a really fabulous time.
I received very sad news at the end of 2012. Thierry Rosset, who is well known to many Bay Area printmakers, passed away peacefully in Normandy, France where he had spent his summers as a boy and where he had a house by the sea. Thierry and his wife Martine, who is also a painter, lived in San Francisco after retiring from the a very interesting life in the french foreign service.
Thierry’s recent exhibition “Chemins de Traverse”, Notre Dame de PortBail, Normandy
I was a big fan of Thierry’s relief prints long before I met him, as he exhibited widely in the Bay Area as well as donating work to many auctions, and we both often cropped up in many of the same shows. When I did eventually meet him, I thought he was completely lovely and we hit it off immediately . I would like to take some credit for teaching him how to schmooze, which he did with great enthusiasm and panache, putting the rest of us to shame. You can find a Blurb book of Thierry’s work here.
One of the things I always really admired about Thierry and Martine, was that they turned up to everything, making the effort to support their fellow artists even in the worst weather conditions. I was lucky enough to do an exchange with Thierry and now have two of his beautiful prints.
Thierry had reached a ripe old age and had, by all accounts a very interesting and varied life, and none of us can wish for more than that can we? I will miss the banter of a true gent.
Come and see my newest work at The Wall Gallery, coinciding with Oakland Art Murmur’s first Friday, this May 4th from 5:30 – 9:30, after which you can come by anytime from Fridays to Saturdays 12 – 6pm until May 30th.The Wall Gallery is located at 473 25th Street in Oakland.
The Art Murmur First Friday Art Walk includes 21 galleries and 9 mixed-use venues host openings 6-9pm between 26th and Jack London along the Telegraph and Broadway corridors.
Yesterday I went to see my friend and fellow Kala partner Nif Hogson’s work at the 2012 Master of Fine Arts Thesis Exhibition at San Francisco State University. It is a fabulous show on until May 11 and well worth a visit.
Nif’s work is difficult to appreciate in electronic formats, as it is so delicate and subtle, so if you can, go and see it for yourself.
Also showing was a very interesting installation of a life size replica of a family sitting room, complete with empty beer bottles and cigarettes, all made with realistic detail in ceramic.
After an intensive 3 months of printing large monoprints at the Kala Art Institute as an artist-in-residence , I am back in my studio working on a series of large watercolor drawings.
It has been about 7 years since I immersed myself in drawings on paper and am excited about the work I have started, and endless possibilities of the techniques involved.
Often watercolor drawings are thought of as filling the gap between painting and drawing It is the combination of line, painted areas of solid color, and the use of the naked paper as a positive element within the drawing that excites me. I’m happy to be back in the realm of the drawing – my aim is to spend the next few months exploring the possibilities.
You can see my first new piece at Open Studios this coming weekend at Hunter’s Point Shipyard.